This section gives you detailed information about importing pets into the Cayman Islands including current regulations and laws, restrictions on importing pets from various countries and the limitations on importing specific breeds of dogs, plus insider tips on making the process easier.
On This Page
The Cayman Islands is a fantastic place to have a pet with plenty of outdoor space for them to enjoy. There is also a great network of Veterinarians, Dog Trainers, Pet Groomers and Kennels and Pet Sitters.
The process for importing animals into Cayman is a lengthy one. You will need to start planning at least six months prior to shipment. The Cayman Islands are Rabies free and to keep this deadly disease out no import exceptions will be made by the Government.
We highly recommend that you contact the DOA as soon as you decide to import a pet. Ask them to send you the relevant application form and the most current import requirements. The sooner you do this the better. They will also help you with any questions throughout the process.
At this time, requirements in order to obtain an Import Permit include:
- Having your pet fitted with a microchip and submitting a certificate showing the date of the implant;
- Being up-to-date on all vaccinations, including rabies;
- Having a rabies titre (blood) test performed;
- Having tick and tapeworm treatments performed;
- Completing an application form within 14 days of travel;
- Gaining an Official Veterinary Health Certificate;
- Submitting payment of CI$50 (USD $61) to process your application;
- Submitting a current photo of your pet.
For animals being imported from countries that have rabies, there is at least a two month wait from when they are rabies titre tested (and gain a successful result) before they can travel.
For countries that are rabies-free, the requirements are less stringent and much quicker. We advise that you follow the DOA’s directions exactly as requested and that you keep in touch with them throughout the process, or use a local broker, as there is no leeway in dates or exceptions made if you have forgotten to do something.
All animals and paperwork will be inspected upon arrival and an inability to meet all requirements can lead to the animal being put down, or returned to the country of origin, all at the expense of the owner. There are no pet detention or quarantine facilities in the Cayman Islands.
Restrictions - Breeds & Country of Origin
In accordance with the Animals Law (2013 Revision), no animal of any description may be directly imported into the Cayman Islands from any country on the DOA restriction list and certain dog breeds are also restricted.
Animals of any description may not be directly imported into the Cayman Islands from any country in Asia, Africa or Central and South America. Other territories from which dogs and cats are prohibited are Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Certain breeds of dogs or crosses of such breeds are prohibited from entering the Cayman Islands. Genetic material such as semen and embryos from these breeds are also prohibited. These breeds include, but are not necessarily limited to the following dogs and its breed types: Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino and any breed or crossbreed of dog whose breeding lineage was for the primary purpose of dog fighting.
You can also visit Pet Travel for some more information about banned breeds, however this information may not be up-to-date as the DOA has recently changed the import laws. Please contact The Department of Agriculture for a complete list of banned breeds.
All animals, no matter what size, must travel in a leak proof, International Air Transport Association specification carrier.
There are several companies who can manage the process for you when importing a pet into Cayman.
Pets Entering from the UK or the US
There are specific guidelines and processes to follow for pets entering from the UK or USA.
Pets leaving the UK to enter the Cayman Islands must meet all the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture (DOA) requirements. Pets leaving the UK by plane must travel as cargo or checked baggage unless flying on a private charter or as an assistance animal. UK residents will need to apply to DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) for an Official Health Certificate, visit www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad or call +44 (0)870 241 1710 for more information on exportation procedures and requirements. A Registered UK shipper such as Animal Couriers or Pet Air must be used to deliver your pet to the aircraft and can answer any questions and assist with all the logistics including DEFRA, airline booking, travel crates, liaising with DOA and/or a Cayman Islands pet travel broker.
All pets leaving the US must also meet all DOA requirements. If you are in the US, the address where the blood has to be sent for the titres to be done is: The Rabies Laboratory, Kansas State University, 2005 Research Park Circle, Manhattan, KS 66502, Tel: (785) 532 4483, although vets will usually look after this process for you. If you are looking for the address in other countries your vet will be able to assist you. Please contact the Department of Agriculture for more information.
Pets Entering from Jamaica
Along with the steps required in order to obtain an Import permit that are listed above, there is an additional set of requirements for pets entering from Jamaica.
Dogs must have received a combination vaccine against Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis, at a minimum of 12 weeks of age after the microchip was inserted.
Cats must have received a combination vaccine against Feline Enteritis and Calici virus at a minimum of 12 weeks of age. Your pet must then be tested for rabies and receive a tick and tapeworm treatment.
Following this, your pet must be examined and issued with an Official Veterinary Health Certificate. Once issued with the certificate, you must submit it with a completed application form for an Import Permit and a non-refundable application fee to the Cayman Islands DOA.
It is important to note that animals imported from Jamaica do not qualify to travel to other countries and back into the Cayman Islands.
Importing Captive Birds
All captive birds must be accompanied by an Import Permit issued by the Department of Agriculture. In order to receive an Import Permit, the birds must have a microchip, all vaccinations, rabies titre test and tick and tapeworm treatments. Captive cage birds include parrots, budgerigars, lovebirds, finches and toucans.